For many business owners, the kitchen table doubles as the boardroom table, the spare bedroom is the executive office, and what was once the garage is now the warehouse. Add to that the fact that family obligations (and perhaps toys) can encroach on your “work space”, and operating a business from home can be challenging and stressful. So here are five ways to increase the productivity of your home office space.
- Define your space. Having your own dedicated workspace is key to being able to focus. Open areas like the kitchen or family room will lead to distractions. Try to allocate a specific room to your business activities. Make it conducive to being productive by ensuring there’s proper lighting and the temperature is stable and comfortable. In addition various studies have shown that having windows, plants and art in your office can reduce fatigue, improve health, and inspire creativity.
- Embrace technology. Working alone often means having to do the work of many. Technology can increase efficiency regardless of where you’re working. Cloud storage, internet fax services, and online accounting software can turn your laptop into a fully functional office regardless of where you are.
- Create a work friendly work station. Leave the sofa and coffee table in the den. For maximum productivity, invest in a proper office chair and desk. A quality chair will reduce fatigue, while a large enough desk will keep you organized. Perhaps think about also investing in a filing cabinet.
- Separate business and personal. It’s important to let everyone know that just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you’re available for social activities. Lunch dates, phone calls with friends, and checking into Facebook can all have a significant impact on your productivity. Too hard to resist so many temptations? Check out the next point.
- Create a schedule for everything. With no one watching over you, it’s easy to get distracted with updating your social media profiles, doing that last load of laundry, or taking a really long lunch. That’s why it’s crucial that you create a daily schedule – and stick to it. Designate specific times for every type of task, including breaks and meals.
Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert. He regularly appears on TV and radio. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit marcgordon.ca or his online show at marctv.net for more business tips.